Saturday, January 23, 2021

All about Gender Identity

Gender Identity is a timely and relevant topic that deserves proper discussion and attention. As we all have known, gender identity only has distinctions which are the male and female. However, it still has a wider spectrum of perceptions that must be discussed thoroughly considering the modern influences of this generation. Given that, here is a brief discussion of gender identity and linking ideas for us to gain more awareness about this relevant topic. 

Defining Gender Identity 

Gender identity refers to one’s personal sense of their own gender. It can correlate with what sex is assigned to one when born or differ from it. Also, gender expression reflects the gender identity of a person but not all the time. For example, in this modern time, people may express their appearances, attitudes, and behaviors assigned to a specific gender role; however, these do not essentially reflect their true gender identity

Moreover, each society has its own set of gender categories, which serves as the basis for self-identity. As mentioned previously, there are two main categories of gender which are the female and male. Females express femininity and males express masculinity. Now, gender identity has been known to form at the age of three. After this age, making changes to it can be difficult, and failed attempts to reassign it results in gender dysphoria. 

Age of Formation 

Different theories were made and used to determine the exact age of the formation of gender identity. It has been a tough journey for researchers since children still lack language at an early age. Communicating and investigating children in terms of their gender identity did not come easily However, researchers claimed that gender identity mostly forms at the age of three. This is the age where children are starting to be aware of themselves, their identity, likes, and life. This is the age where their level of consciousness, not only about themselves but also in the surrounding increases. Moving forward, let us now proceed to the factors affecting the formation of gender identity. In this way, we can widen our perspective about this topic and gain more knowledge on how to deal with it.

Factors Affecting the Formation of Gender Identity 

Lots of people are not yet completely aware of gender identity, especially the factors affecting its formation. This leads to confusion and hard times in coping and understanding it. Given that, below are the brief discussions about these factors. 

Nature vs. Nurture 

The very first factor that affects gender identity formation is nature vs. nurture. Nurture refers to the environmental or social factors, and nature pertains to the biological factors. Beginning with nurture, human beings are born to be social-making interactions not only with fellow human beings but also with nature, society, and other elements. With daily exposure to a specific kind of nature, gender identity can be formed. For example, when a child is exposed to a setting that consists of feminine attributes, the child will be more likely to become feminine. Although biologically, the child is male, exposure to femininity can alter gender identity. One big example of this is when a boy is born with siblings that are all female. The tendency of the child to think and feel feminine will increase as his exposure to his female siblings is dominant.

On the other hand, the nature or biological factors affecting gender identity is also important. The females have feminine attributes, while the males have masculine attributes. Once a child has been made aware of what biological features he or she has, these attributes can be nurtured over time.

For a wider discussion, below are specific factors: 

Biological Factors

This is considered as the most important factor for gender identity, for it comes naturally. Any feminine features will lead to femininity, and masculine features will lead to masculinity. Examples of unchangeable and inner features are the reproductive system containing the ovaries and vagina for the female and sperm for the male. As our world continues to be more modernized, altering physical features representing gender identity has been made possible through surgeries and operations. This is where the idea of transgender and trans-sexuality follows. 

Transgender and Trans-Sexuality 

Due to confusion, other people choose to alter their gender identity by undergoing major surgeries removing or changing the features that show their old identity. Countries such as Thailand are only one of the well-known countries that host surgeries for transgender purposes. Due to advancement in technology, that surgeries like these are becoming successful and even undergoing further development and improvement. In this way, people who wish to change their gender identity can have a higher assurance that they will never hide who they truly are. They will have the confidence to show what and who they really are as long as it does not create any negative effect on other people. 

Environmental and Social 

The next set of factors is environmental and social. Here, we are going to discuss the specific factors that affect the formation of gender identity of one’s self. 

Parental Establishment 

Since a child is born, the parents are there to look and care for him or her. Whatever the parents do and show to their child will be copied and admired by the child. This is what we call the parental establishment or simply the influence the child’s development not only in gender but also in other area. 

Parents must show the proper respect connected to a gender. If the child is a female, then feminine influences must be established. On the other hand, if the child is a male, then masculine influences must be established.

Society and Groups 

Another factor is society and groups. Any gender influence learned by a child from society and groups will then contribute to shaping the individual and can avoid leading him or her into confusion in the future.

This is a guest blog entry.

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